Exclusive Review: Cabin In The Woods

The Story

The less you know, the better.  Don’t watch the trailers, flee the tv spots, and for goodness sake, don’t listen to someone tell you what the story is about.  All you have to know is that it’s a different take on the coed slasher film sub-genre.  That means it’s familiar yet not at all what you’re expecting. If you’ve already seen the first trailer, take a sigh of relief as the good stuff is not revealed in that trailer.

If I Tell You, I’ll Have to Kill You

This is director Drew Goddard’s first feature film.  It was produced by Buffy, Angel, and Firefly creator Joss Whedon and filmed years ago and then promptly shelved.  Usually that means bad things, but in this film’s case it’s the polar opposite. This is a popcorn chomping crowd pleaser if ever I saw one and begs to be seen with as large and as rabid an audience as you can get your mitts on.

Drew and Joss are both fans of genre and Goddard in particular is a very big fan of horror and gore films.  What they both set out to do with this film was add a fresh coat of paint to an otherwise molding sub-genre of horror.  Exactly what they’ve done to make this unique to themselves, I’ll leave you to discover in the theater.

The obvious, non-spoiler stuff I can share is that the film will not be scary to the horror afficionados among you, in fact there’s  a great deal of humor spread throughout the film.  It’s no surprise considering this is from the writers of Buffy (Horror with humor).  In fact, there’s always a wry sense of humor running through everything Joss Whedon touches so, this should not be a big surprise to anyone familiar with his work.

Goddard sets up all the pieces in the film throughout it’s opening which is pretty much what you’ve seen in the early trailers.  College kids take a vacation into the woods and discover that they’re not alone and death awaits.  Standard fare, or so it seems.  Their biggest contribution being to (1) give a “sensible” reason for brutally murdering killing massacring these group of kids and (2) making it somewhat believable for said kids to find it difficult to make it out alive.

Although this was an early screening that I went to, there was no embargo to prevent me from spoiling the hell out of this film.  That said, the film’s enjoyment really hangs on knowing as little as possible going in.  Once you’ve seen it, you’ll want to see it again (as I will be paying to do opening night), but you really have to see it fresh.  Fresh and with a large theater crowd.

Run, don’t walk, to see this opening weekend.  I want a prequel and the ending to this begs for another go at this universe.


B- grade for the story and dialog

A grade for editing? Yep, editing

A grade for the surprise twist awesome ending

B- for the @#$$% that shall not be named in the twist awesome ending

A+ for crowd pleasing fun time at the cineplex

Overall an A for a great first effort and a rompin’ good time.


Original surviving founder of Fanboy Confidential, the podcast, and this supporting website. This is the fruit of his labor, created while on his off days from saving orphaned children from forest fires.

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